Holy Pearl Episodes 3-5 Recap
If you think we are out of exposition and back story territory, we’re not. Bit by bit we are getting more and more into the meat of the drama, but they still have to explain how some things happened. This set of episodes introduces even more characters to our cast, demons and humans alike. Since they aren’t following Inuyasha exactly, it’s hard to tell whether some characters have equivalents or if they are completely brand new. Stay tuned for my Inuyasha post and a bit of a comparison. Lots of things have changed to fit in with Chinese culture and mythology versus the original Japanese.
Anywho. Remember our General Wei Liao has ordered his men to kill Ding Yao on site. To top it off, she now as demon lord Shi You Ming’s (Sun Xing) right hand woman Hu Ji (Liu Na Ping) after her as well. She comes across an old woman on her way to the shrine. The old woman asks for help and Ding Yao offers food. Nope, the woman needs an object Ding Yao possesses to help her. What object? The Vase! Ding Yao then goes through her stolen goods and brings out a vase which annoys the elder who snaps at the girl to hand over the Demon Killing Vase. The woman’s outer appearance then melts away into a giant snake demon. Hu Ji shows up as the demon is about to make munchies out of Ding Yao. She reprimands the demon for going against Shi You Ming and sends it off.
Ding Yao is grateful until Hu Ji demands the vase as repayment. Ding Yao asserts she has no vase in her possession, but Hu Ji’s good demeanor drops as well. Enter General Wei Liao to save Ding Yao’s butt. Oh, it’s not like he wants to save her, but he can’t let a demon have her either. The two fight and Wei Liao is really no match for Hu Ji’s powers, but she doesn’t kill him since he is good looking. She wishes to meet again and vanishes to go after Ding Yao once more leaving behind a single white flower.
Ding Yao gets to the shrine only to have the snake demon reappear again. She is somehow flung into the room where Wen Tian is chained. Her presence and that of her amulet’s wakes him. He mistakes her for Xian Yue and wonders why such a minor demon is a problem. Ding Yao asks for his help and he agrees to give it if she frees him. But how does she do that? Use her amulet to move the stones creating his prison. She then thinks to ask if he’s a good man or a bad man. Wen Tian cannot believe that question. Isn’t the snake demon obviously bad? Ding Yao does free him and true to his word Wen Tian does help stop the demon. He still hasn’t gotten it through his head that she isn’t Xian Yue and he’s demanding answers to what happened 20 years ago.
Enter Hu Ji. She’s surprised that the dragon demon has been resurrected. A struggle begins over the vase (which mysteriously popped out of the amulet (this vase was believed to be destroyed when Xian Yue died by the way). Ding Yao ends up throwing the vase and light appears and it shatters into the original twelve holy pearls. Hu Ji knows she’ll be in big trouble now and vanishes. Enter Wei Liao’s men who are not happy to see Wen Tian revived.
I have to admit I am liking Wen Tian’s reintroduction and this scene where he goes after Ding Yao demanding answers to questions only Xian Yue has the answers to. Sure, he helps her out (because you know he does care about Xian Yue), but he also needs to know why she betrayed him 20 years ago. Funny how they both think they’ve been betrayed isn’t it? I had to laugh when Wen Tian was kicking demon rear and Ding Yao was hiding behind a statue trying to avoid him.
Mu Yin is furious to know the vase reappeared and has now been shattered. This can only bode horribly for their kingdom. She considers Ding Yao to be a harbinger of bad luck. Even Wei Liao is in agreement over this. Ding Yao asks if the vase can be resurrected. Sure, if they can gather all of the holy pearls. Ding Yao volunteers to collect them (her amulet can sense the pearls and she is the only one who can use it). Rong Di orders people to help, but they all refuse. He then tries to volunteer himself but the general and priestess are against this as much as they were against their own going. So what to do? Well, Wen Tian volunteers himself. Rong Di very much dislikes this idea. These two men hate each other. This could possibly be all because of Xian Yue, but I’m not 100% certain about that. There is the fact that Wen Tian did try to kill Rong Di 20 years ago, too. Ding Yao is quick to agree to this as Wen Tian has saved her once and she can see he’s a good person. Shockingly enough, Mu Yin does warn Ding Yao to be careful around Wen Tian. It’s Mu Yin’s hope that this quest will prove to be too much for the Xian Yue look alike and she will fail to return.
Wen Tian is very much aware now that Xian Yue and Ding Yao are not one and the same. He even visits Xian Yue’s grave and wonders how she died and just what happened twenty years ago that she broke the promise they made to live in the forest together. I don’t know why, but Wen Tian does take Xian Yue’s flute. As a memento or for some other reason?
Hu Ji returns to You Ming who is not really concerned. Did the vase break or did she see it split apart into the twelve holy pearls? If the vase has turned back to the holy pearls, then all Hu Ji needs to do is gather the pieces for him and get the scrolls of Nuwa so that they can reforge the vase. Hu Ji is instructed to go to the village which protects the scroll and slaughter everybody. Oh, and on her way, don’t forget to stop by the land that belongs to the dragons and let them know that Wen Tian has revived. Hu Ji doesn’t really want to do the last task, but she does give the news to the clan.
The next day Wen Tian and Ding Yao start on their journey. Ding Yao…well…she’s right at home with Wen Tian. She chats nonstop and keeps asking him questions much to his annoyance. He doesn’t want to open up to her or talk about the past, but eventually he does break down and tell her everything. He explains that he met Xian Yue when she was in seclusion guarding the vase. He stole it and she chased him down and took it back. She spared his life as his father was the dragon that helped her and Mu Yin stop the flood. Plus, she did not hold Wen Tian’s half-demon status against him. Since Xian Yue was the first to treat him with any kindness, he took an immediate shine to her. The forest they ran through was quite large and Wen Tian followed Xian Yue at a distance as they tried to find their way out. Xian Yue did eventually invite him to eat with her. The two fell in love and promised to leave behind their worlds and live together in the forest.
What happened after that still hasn’t been 100% revealed. Somehow Wen Tian ends up with the vase and attacks Rong Di and Xian Yue who is injured is force to stop him. They both believe the other has lied so we know there is definitely more to this story, but we don’t quite know what that is yet. Soon. Ah. And you also learn that Wen Tian’s status as half-human and half-demon makes him persona non grata in both worlds. Humans and demons both look down on him and want nothing to do with him. His desire to possess the vase all those years ago was so he could protect himself and take revenge on the world that bullied him and murdered his mother.
So while Wen Tian and Ding Yao are bonding and having some cute arguments and revealing discussions, lots of action is going on. Hu Ji and her minions destroy the village housing the scroll. Only one woman is left alive. As the minions go to kill her another demon shows up. A much stronger demon that Hu Ji. Wu Dao (Jiang Yi) is the eldest son of the king of the dragons. Meaning he’s Wen Tian’s ge. He is only at the village to see Hu Ji and demand to know if his half-brother is really still alive. Hu Ji vanishes. For whatever reason the cold and stoic Wu Dao saves the last survivor from death and nurses her back to health.
The woman is a gifted martial artist since it was her village’s duty to protect the scrolls. She is horrified to learn that Wu Dao saw her body when he saved her life and healed her. She must either kill him or herself as the law is that no one but her husband must see her. Wu Dao is unphased by this. Obviously this lowly human wasn’t worth saving if she will lose her life over such a trivial and ancient law. He tosses her a bag and says that what is inside will allow her to heal in a matter of days and leaves. The woman is Mu Lian (Guo Zhen Ni) and seems to have developed a bit of a crush or something on Wu Dao. For whatever reason, Mu Lian decides to live and take revenge for her slaughtered village and family. Her goal is to go to Mu Yin and let her know that You Ming’s Hu Ji has stolen the precious scroll. We do learn that even without the scroll, the vase can be reforged, but it will not be any where near as strong as it once was.
Meanwhile, in Southern Nan Yue, Rong Di announces to General Wei Liao that his fiancee is coming. Say what? It’s kind of interesting as just earlier Rong Di and Wei Liao were fighting because of Ding Yao and disagreeing with each other and the next the king is happily telling Wei Liao that 17 years ago, Wei Liao was betrothed to a two-year-old and now it’s time to fulfill the marriage. This girl is a princess of a neighboring kingdom and the match will be strategically good for Nan Yue. Wei Liao does not want to accept this marriage, but even Mu Yin is all for it. The main problem is that Wei Liao has a certain demonness on his brain. He even still has the feather left by Hu Ji! Those two really aren’t compatible when you think of all the people she’s either personally slaughtered or had a hand in killing. Anywho, it turns out that Wei Liao’s bride-to-be doesn’t want to get married to a complete stranger and has run off as well. LOL. See how much they have in common already?
So the runaway bride is masquerading as a man. Princess Yu Die (Li Qian) has donned men’s clothing and a fake mustache and is on a runaway horse. Mu Lian steps in and stops the animal causing our princess to be thrown from the horse. Yu Die, after bickering with Mu Lian, takes a shine to the woman and starts following her around. During the chaos Mu Lian had dropped the pouch from Wu Dao and Yu Die picked it up to return it. Mu Lian is definitely more serious and Yu Die is more fun-loving. The two do end up going their separate ways at first after Mu Lian saves Yu Die from a demon. This saddens Yu Die who wanted to make Mu Lian her honorary sister.
Yu Die is by herself when she hears a young woman plead to not get married. She asks what is going on and is told the woman is being given to the river god as a bride to ensure the floods stop. Yu Die decides to get involved and offers herself up as a replacement. She peels off her mustache and takes down her hair. She switches places and waits for the water god alone. Only it is not a water god, but a demon that shows up. Yu Die uses a charm from her family’s priest which was ineffective. Along comes Mu Lian to help saved the day. The two do defeat the demon together and a pearl is recovered. The two decide to become sworn sisters and continue on their journeys together since You Die still doesn’t wish to meet her promised husband and Mu Lian must continue to her goal of revenge.
Ok. Back to the main couple. Wen Tian has saved Ying Dao a few times. He gives her Xian Yue’s flute and says that if she is really Xian Yue’s reincarnation, then she can use the flute to protect herself in times of danger. Not to long after this happens, Wu Dao makes an appearance. Wen Tian takes Ding Yao and runs for hit, but Wu Dao is already a step ahead. He ridicules his brother for being with a lowly human. Wen Tian takes on Wu Dao and tells Ying Dao to run. We get a rather poorly done fight scene. I say poorly because there’s really no substance or real fighting going on. Not really. They could have choreographed it a bit better and made it look more believable.
Of course Ding Yao doesn’t run away. She stays and watches Wen Tian fight Wu Dao and wonders why the two brothers can’t get along. Wen Tian does get in a few good blows, but is no real match for Wu Dao at this time. Wu Dao is there to get something their father left to Wen Tian. You see, Wu Dao seeks to be the next leader of the dragons and the artifact Wen Tian has will enable him to do so. Wen Tian refuses and Wu Dao kicks his little brother’s butt. In order to save Wen Tian from his ge, Ying Dao listens to her clay amulet (why doesn’t the amulet all of a sudden start talking? and why isn’t she shocked?) and starts playing the flute. Eventually Wu Dao does give up and go away because he can’t destroy his brother with Ding Yao around (although he does steal what he came for). It’s actually after this scene that Wu Dao crosses paths with Mu Lian again. It’s before she meets up with Yu Die. She tries to give his pouch back, but he won’t take it.
Hu Ji goes to attack and kill Ding Yao while Wen Tian is injured and the two distracted, but Mu Yin’s spy steps in and saves the day. Our spy is to report on all things to Mu Yin and to keep the two safe on their journey to see what happens. But…it’s not like Mu Yin really wants Ding Yao alive, so that seems a bit weird that her follower would intervene.
Wen Tian explains that his father falling in love with a human woman and having him is considered a big sin. That’s why Wu Dao hates him so much. The two then decide to hold off on finding the pearls to regain what was taken for Wen Tian.
Wu Dao goes to his father’s grave and opens it with the item stolen from Wen Tian. He goes in and claims the throne of the dragons and wonders again why his father ruined himself for the human woman. Enter Wen Tian and Ding Yao. Wen Tian wants Ding Yao safely outside the tomb, but Ding Yao doesn’t want him going it alone.
Look forward to the ongoing confrontations between Wen Tian and Wu Dao.